2004 Index, NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES,Welcome Page

February 21st, 2004

Who Owns the Fish?

" I went down and got a job with the Rural Electrification for the Navajo Indian Reservation, running electric power lines into all the Navajo outhouses. I was one of the first people to wire a head for a reservation."
U Utah Philips


Hi folks,

I have a confession to make. I am so WEARY of filleting George W. Fi(bu)sh and his bunch of glorified camel thieves. Let's make sure that we all get together and hurry the poor man on his way come election time so that we can focus on the more important things, like messages from the real leaders in our midst. Like Swami Beyondananda:

Question: Swami, I understand that you are boycotting the Prophet's Conference that is taking place right now.  Can you explain?

Swami Beyondananda: Certainly.  I am refusing to go because I have not been invited.  But even more important, I am not going because I am strictly non-prophet. I would never want to make predictions for money and be accused of propheteering.

Question: But Swami, what about all of the upheaval that has been predicted for this passage into the new millennium -- not to mention those earth changes?

Swami Beyondananda: Upheaval isn't such a bad thing.  At least it's moving things up.  Now downheaval, that is a different story.  I tell you, compared to downheaval, upheaval is definitely the lesser of two heavals.

Question: Are there any tools or practices you would recommend to help people make it through all the changes that are predicted?

Swami Beyondananda: Well first, I would say recognize that change is a natural condition in life, so if you take the initiative to bring about change in small increments, you're less likely to have it come in large excrements.

Personal note from the Swami: If you or anyone you know has felt more stress and worry over the past few months, you're not alone. Humorologists report a sharp increase in jestive disorders, from mild irregularhilarity to full-blown humorrhoids.
(thanks to Stephen Ross)


Favourite Reader Comment of the Week

In Response to: 'Looking For Mr GoodManager' (Jan. 16 issue)

Hope you're well ­ I've taken your advice, not waited for some rug-rat manager and organised my own tour of the entire world ­ a future, an adventure and empowerment and no middle man! Thanks for your honest advice ­ I can only say that it turned my life around. Hope to see you mid-May when I come back.
 love Rupert

(Note: here's Rupert'sWebsite and performance calender.)


Favourite Porn Spam Subject Heading of the Week

From: Reproducibles A. Nakedest  
Subject: "I've been using your product for 4 months now. I've increased my length from 2" to 2 1/2 "

(Note: To paraphrase May West, 'Is that an ERASER in your pocket or are you glad to see me?')

Tutu tells Blair: Apologise for 'immoral' war
By Nigel Morris, Home Affairs Correspondent

Archbishop Desmond Tutu will challenge Tony Blair and George Bush today to apologise for their pursuit of a counter-productive and "immoral" war in Iraq.

In a scathing analysis of the background to the invasion, he will ridicule the "dangerously flawed" intelligence that Britain and the US used to justify a military action which has made the world a "great deal less safe".

The intervention of the Nobel peace prize winner in the controversy over Iraq follows a series of deadly terrorist attacks in the country over the past week, including an armed raid on a police station on Saturday in which 22 people died. (article)


Thousands of women have been sexually assaulted in the United States military. Thousands more have been abused by their military husbands or boyfriends. And then they are victimized again.

This time, the women are betrayed by the military itself.

They are discouraged from reporting the crimes. Pressured to go easy on their attackers. Denied protection. Frustrated by a justice system that readily shields offenders from criminal punishment. (article)

Wake-Up Call For the Media
Eric Alterman and Michael Tomasky

Yes, Bush has bullied the national media. But are they really powerless? Only if they play along. Herewith, five suggestions for how the Fourth Estate can stop the charade.

It is in this hope and spirit that we offer the following suggestions for reporters and editors:

1. Go beyond the "he said, she said" and tell us what you believe to be true and important about a story. The chief convention of most news reporting -- this side says this, that side says that -- needs a drastic rethink. In the Age of Spin, an Age brought to new lows by this White House, a formula that requires giving equal weight to both sides ends up helping the side that's lying. So when Bush says, as he often did during the last campaign, "[B]y far, the vast majority of my tax cuts go to those at the bottom end of the spectrum," this obvious and factually checkable lie got the same play in most stories as the truth did. The he said, she said convention actually blurred the truth. (full article - and the other four suggestions.)


The Strange Death of the Woman Who Filed a Rape Lawsuit Against Bush
Jackson Thoreau

" Early one Saturday afternoon in July 2003, I made a simple phone call to Margie Schoedinger, a Texas woman who filed a rape lawsuit against George W. Bush in December 2002. I expected to leave a message on a machine, so I was caught a little offguard when Schoedinger answered.

She, too, sounded somewhat surprised I had called, saying she hadn't heard from many other reporters. But she talked to me for a few minutes about the legal action.

"I am still trying to prosecute [the lawsuit]," said Schoedinger, a 38-year-old African-American woman who lived in the Houston suburb of Missouri City. "I want to get this matter settled and go on with my life."

Well, Schoedinger hasn't gone on with her life. In fact, three months after I spoke to her, she died in an apparent suicide. And this matter remains unsettled. (article)
(thanks to stefan abeysekera.)

America, of course, is a Confused Puritan Nation
By Emily Reinhardt

"Timberlake, Spears and that Christina woman are the most sexual Mousketeers to come out of Minnie's who-ha. Walt is turning over in his cryogenic chamber. "

(YellowTimes.org) ­ Last Sunday, between commercials selling erection-enhancing medication, beer, horse farts and other glories of capitalism, a tit was shown. Between Vaseline-smeared, sparkling cheerleaders, orgies of celebrity and a game brutally violent, sadomasochistic and testosterone-laden, a bare black breast managed to sneak out from a bustier. And it is the scandal of January.

"Indecent!" The moral tongues wag. "Shocking!" Grandmothers across America cry. "Classless, crass and deplorable!" The head of the FCC, Michael Powell, declares. The perps, Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, CBS, Viacom, MTV and the NFL, all stand to be fined millions of dollars for a nipple. And no doubt America's children will be scarred for, oh, about five minutes over this.
Powell has said there will be an investigation. Nobody is investigating Cheney's energy meetings. We can't get a hearing on whether Bush lied to us about the war. There's going to be an investigation on WMDs and intelligence, but it sounds lukewarm at best. Global warming, corporate shanghais, illegal detainees, abuses of power let's just ignore all those. What we really need is an investigation into Janet Jackson's breast." (Much more and even better stuff in the
(complete article)

Bottled Water

" Ever wonder about those people who spend $2.00 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backwards: NAIVE."
George Carlin

Contrary to popular consumer belief, bottled water is not necessarily safer or healthier than tap water; nor is bottled spring water better than water from other sources. Bottled water may also pose a threat from toxic chemicals that have leached into the water from the plastic. Individuals can avoid plastics leaching by nursing rather than bottle feeding infants, by using and reusing containers made of glass, metal, or lead-free ceramics, or by taking water from the tap. When it's necessary to use plastics, it's important to remember that plastics are not all created equal. Fortunately, consumers can view numeric codes on plastic products. Plastics coded as #7 polycarbonate, #3 polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and #6 polystyrene should be avoided. Better are #1 PETE/PET or #2 HDPE, the plastic found in most 1, 1.5, 2 liter and smaller beverage bottles. Still, an Italian study found that some chemicals were leached after 9 months of storage in a PETE bottle. Plastics shown not to leach any carcinogens or endocrine disruptors are #2 HDPE, #4 LDPE, and #5 polypropylene.


Microsoft Faces Losing Windows Trademark

A US district court judge put Microsoft's trademark-infringement case against Lindows.com on indefinite hold this week, pending an appeals court ruling that could strip the software giant of its Windows trademarks.

The judge's decision is bad news for Microsoft, which sued Lindows.com last year because the name Lindows is too similar to Windows. The lawsuit backfired when Lindows.com challenged the Windows trademark, noting that the word windows is a generic term and thus can't be legally protected with a mark.

This week's ruling means that an appeals court will decide whether windows is indeed a generic term; if so, Microsoft could lose its trademark. At the very least, a jury will be able to use that determination to decide the future trial case between Microsoft and Lindows.com

But before the anyone-but-Microsoft crowd gets too excited, it's important to note that the appeals court will be working under a strict set of rules. According to US District Judge John Coughenour, the court can consider only whether the term windows was a generic computing term before November 1985, when Microsoft released the original version of Windows. And Microsoft can appeal the ruling, of course.

However, the term windows was indeed a generic computing term before November 1985, thanks largely to the introduction of graphical computing systems such as Apple Computer's Macintosh, which the company released in early 1984.

Describing the then-new graphical paradigm, the premiere issue of "Macworld" published in early 1984, noted, "When you want to look at the information that one of the icons represents [on screen], you open a window ... Choose the Open command from the File menu and the screen almost fills up with a rectangular 'window' containing icons that represent the documents and programs on the disk."

And the Mac isn't the only example of a pre-Windows computer windowing system; other examples include VisiCorp's VisiOn shell, which was released in late 1982, and IBM's TopView shell, which was released in February 1985.

Microsoft argues that the term windows should be judged by its acceptance today, not by the standards of the computing market of 20 years ago. But the company says it's pleased that this matter will finally be decided.

"We are very encouraged that the judge has granted our request to ask the court of appeals to provide guidance and clarity on this important issue of law before going to trial," a Microsoft spokesperson said. Lindows.com described the ruling as a "major victory."
(thanks to Ben Kettlewell)


THE SHAGGS (continued . . .)

It is, believe you me, the greatest album you have NEVER heard.

I got my copy of The Shaggs, 'Philosophy of the World,' from the States yesterday and it is everything that I hoped for. You might recall I mentioned last week that I had a strong connection with this group from the very first piece I heard, and that's why I ordered the CD? Well, I've done some more homework since last issue and it appears that there has been a bidding war between Tom Cruise's film company, Cruise/Wagner, and Artisan Films for the rights to make a movie about The Shaggs life and music - with Artisian getting the nod. (They must be all cashed up after the stupendous profit-to-investment ration of 'The Blair Witch Project' (approx $50, 000 to make and grossing hundreds of millions of dollars!) Filming of The Shaggs movie is scheduled to start in March 2004. I'll keep you posted. Even though their music was made in the late '60s, they are the forward guard of a type of genre known in the States as 'Outsider' Music. (Music made by people who are pretty much laughed at in their own time.) It falls outside the category of Good or Bad - it just IS - and it works!! - who knows why? One critic compared their music to early Ornette Coleman, because ' their music has it's own structure, its own inner logic,' - even though I don't think they even know how to tune their guitars. I would agree with this statement and also say that if anyone ever wanted to make music but felt they couldn't, they should think again and listen and learn from The Shaggs. I assure you I am already changing the way I think. About melody. And upon closer listening, my original impressions were correct: Shagg tunes, on an unconscious level, owe more to the Gregorian chant than the pop song.

" On Halloween, The Shaggs played at a local nursing home-featuring Dot's song, "It's Halloween," in their set - and got a polite response from the residents. Soon afterward, their father, Austin, arranged for them to play at the Fremont town hall on Saturday nights. The girls worried about embarrassing themselves, but at the same time they liked the fact that the shows allowed them to escape the house and their bounded world, even if it was just for a night. At that point, the girls had never even been to Boston, which was only fifty miles away.

" The whole family took part in the town-hall shows. Austin III, the older of the two sons, played the maracas; the other son, Robert, played the tambourine and did a drum solo during intermission; Annie sold tickets and ran the refreshment stand. A Pepsi truck would drop off cases of soda at their green ranch house, on Beede Road, every Friday night. Even though, according to one town-hall regular, most people found The Shaggs' music "painful and torturous," sometimes as many as a hundred kids showed up at the dances - practically the whole adolescent population of Fremont. Then again, there really wasn't much else to do in Fremont on a Saturday night. The audience danced and chatted, heckled the band, pelted the girls with junk, ignored them, grudgingly appreciated them, mocked them. "

You can sign up to be part of their fanclub and Dot, the songwriter, now in her '50s, and the other girls, and their mother, will even send you autographed Christmas cards! Get in there early before the mass market makes cannon fodder out of them.

Offical Shaggs Website

Links to All Things Shaggy

Perhaps the following article helps explain the attraction to the simple honesty of artists like The Shaggs.

The Lawless and Ever Expanding World of Hidden-Camera TV
by Joy Press, The Village Voice

" We've grown accustomed to violation as prime-time entertainment. Violation of privacy-not only do we contend with security cameras in public spaces, the invasive threat of the USA Patriot Act, and cell phone users covertly snapping photos of people, but we also have hidden TV camera crews prowling through once anonymous city streets, looking to catch us at our most vulnerable. And violation of trust-more and more reality shows weave blatant deception into their basic premise, throwing unwitting victims into situations that range from the surreal and embarrassing to the downright traumatic.

Reality TV is entering a chilling new phase. The old format of shows based on voluntary participation isn't producing the kind of spontaneous, voyeuristic thrills it once did. All traces of naturalism are gone; nowadays people play up to the camera, so that producers have to go further and further in pursuit of the "real."(article)
(Thanks to Maireid Sullivan.)


R.I.P. MICHAEL EASTON (1954-2004)

"Melbourne composer, music critic and director of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, Michael Easton, 49, died in London last week as the result of a brain haemorrhage."

I was particularly startled by this announcement. Even though I never met him, I still had a fond regard for him; albeit, in a perverse way, as he wrote an unforgettable 'bad' review of one of my major compositions.

In 1995, Easton attended a performance of what I consider one of my few musical masterworks to date, 'When The Lips and the Skin Remember,' a song-cycle of 15 of the poems of Greek poet, Contantine P. Cavafy, in English translation, that I have been in progress of setting to music since 1969, and am still working toward a recording of, almost 35 years later. It is safe to say that Cavafy has been my lyrical guiding light since I was a very young man.

I originally set the first of the Cavafy poems, 'Return,' when I was 22 years old, and my very first music teacher, so to speak, Dr Lou Gottleib, PhD Music, member of the legendary Limelighters Folk Trio, and bass singer for the Sonoma Bach Choir, helped me write the music down on score paper (as I didn't know how to read or write music back then.) Dr. Lou told me that what I had done with the Cavafy poem was important, that I should learn about the Lydian mode that I had unconsciously used in the melody, and that my destiny was as a composer. (I was living on a free love commune at the time and singing country and western music!)

Michael Easton wrote this short review of my Cavafy work, in November 1995, in The Melbourne Age:

' 'I hated Joe Dolce's 'When The Lips and the Skin Remember'. This was grandly proclaimed as a song cycle to poems of C.P. Cavafy. None of the poems' sensuousness were evident; indeed much of the music could well have accompanied a description of a retired matron changing a nappy.'

Now I've never had a retired matron change my nappy so I couldn't exactly relate to the metaphor but I always laugh (and cringe at the same time) when I read this review and have kept it in my scrapbook as a reminder of what I call a 'reality cheque.' As long as the good reviews balance the bad ones, I feel like I'm doing OK. Too many one way, or the other, and I start to worry!

I had always hoped to change Easton's opinion of this beautiful song and poetry work with time, but it was not meant to be.

It's probably futile anyway to waste emotional energy hoping that the ones who don't think very much of you will change their minds. I often recall Albert Einstein's famous advice that we can never change the opinions of 90% of the critics who object the most strongly to our ideas, no matter how much anyone else understands them. All the controversial thinkers such as Galileo, Newton, Freud, Jung, Bach and even Einstein himself had incredible resistance to their vision from well-respected critics. Einstein believed that it was only when the old guard of critics passed away, that a new generation of younger more open-minded apprentices would come along who could then embrace, unfettered, these progressive ideas and build upon them.

So I will miss Michael Easton. I always looked for him at classical music concerts, hoping to get a glance and perhaps meet this fellow composer who was so put-off by one of my favourite compositions. I had even half-hoped of one day being invited to perform 'When The Lips and the Skin Remember,' at his Port Fairy Spring Music Festival. Who knows? Maybe I will still get the chance, only now in the form of a left-handed kind of tribute. Or perhaps the next young person I meet who comes up and tells me how much they like my Cavafy settings will actually BE Michael Easton, reincarnated. On the other hand, perhaps it will be that retired matron, nappy in hand.
(Cavafy Song-cycle Website)

(Note: Easton was working on a new commission, 'Everyone Sang,' based on the WWI poetry of English officer, Siegfried Sassoon, which was scheduled to premiere in this year's Melbourne Festival, by the Melbourne Chorale. I have included the title poem at the bottom of the newsletter.)



This is solvable. It is a fantastic puzzle and you won't be able to put it down once you start it.

1. There are 5 houses in 5 different colours.  In each house lives a person with a different nationality.

2. The 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet.

3. No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar or drink the same beverage.

The question is: 'Who owns the fish?'


The Brit lives in the red house.

The Swede keeps dogs as pets.

The Dane drinks tea.

The green house is on the left of the white house.

The green house's owner drinks coffee.

The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.

The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.

The man living in the center house drinks milk.

The Norwegian lives in the first house.

The man who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.

The man who keeps the horse lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.

The owner who smokes Bluemasters drinks beer.

The German smokes Prince.

The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.

The man who smokes Blends has a neighbor who drinks water.

(Einstein wrote this riddle last century.  He said 98% of the world could not solve it. It can be done! And feels so good when you crack it. No one can give you the answer either because the answer is in the process. You will know when it's correct when you can answer all the above criteria correctly.)


You will have to print this out and use paper to work it out. (Unless you're a chess master, in which case, you could probably build a variation memory tree and solve it that way. Thanks to Janine.)


Duck Eggs with Caviar and Smoked Salmon Fingers

2 duck eggs
20g butter, plus extra for spreading
1 tablespoon single cream or milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 slices good brown bread
50g smoked salmon, thinly sliced
lemon juice
Beluga caviar or Danish black lumpfish roe

Break the eggs very carefully, cutting off the top as if you were eating a boiled egg. Empty the raw eggs into a heavy based saucepan with 20g butter, cream and pepper. Cook the egg mixture over a very low heat stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until creamy. Wash out the shells and place in your favourite egg cups discarding the tops.

Spread the bread slices with the extra butter and place the smoked salmon on the top. Sprinkle with lemon juice and season with pepper. Remove the crusts and cut each slice into four strips or fingers.

Fill the egg shells with the scrambled eggs and sprinkle the caviar and pepper on top. Arrange the fingers around the egg cup on the plate. Serves 2.

" Don't forget to make a hole in the bottom of the egg shell after eating the contents, otherwise the shells will be used by the witches as boats." old superstition

Suggestion: Serve this with tall chilled glasses of Lancefield Winery's, Chardonnay Brut, a 'Blanc de Blancs' Macedon - a sparkling wine made 100% from Macedon Ranges Chardonnay, and enhanced by two years maturation on yeast lees, the key to giving great sparkling wines that special nutty, yeasty character. Lancefield Winery Website

Everyone Sang

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on - on - and out of sight.

Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away . . . O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.

Siegfried Sassoon



2004 Index, NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES,Welcome Page